Tales of L’Occitane


L’Occitane’s incoming general manager for Southeast Asia, Nancy Ferriman

Since 1976, L’Occitane has merged its Provencal traditions with science to craft the finest and most authentic natural beauty products. And while the demand for anything “organic” grows stronger nowadays, the company from the south of France has kept up with the times.

It does so by continuously improving its formulations for better results, as well as upgrading its production for sustainable causes.

Before the year ends, L’Occitane will reintroduce four of its product ranges as part of its global 2013 collection. Topping the list it is the brand’s best-selling facial care solution, the Immortelle Divine.

In L’Occitane’s incoming general manager for Southeast Asia, Nancy Ferriman, recently visited the Philippines to formally launch the new collection. Truly passionate about the brand, she personally shared the story behind every L’Occitane bottle, giving special attention to her favorite product, Divine.

Corsica’s immortelle
The Divine product range, which includes a facial cream, eyecream, serum and lotion, is powered by the anti-ageing properties of the immortelle flower.

A legendary flower, immortelle never loses its bright yellow color even after picked. It is thus called immortelle (immortal) because it appears to never die.

L’Occitane founder Olivier Baussan originally discovered immortelle growing in Corsica. And from then, the company has used the flower that is only grown at the island off the south of France.

“Immortelle by far is the key ingredient in Divine. But while immortelle is also grown in other parts of Europe, the Corsican immortelle has the most concentrated amount of the oil for anti-ageing, soothing and reparative effects,” explained Ferriman.

And because L’Occitane cares for the environment, it found a sustainable way to source immortelle. In 2004, it partnered with the local growers for an organic cultivation program of immortelle at Corsica. Since then, 50 hectares of land has been preserved and planted immortelle. On this paradise, over 3 billion immortelle flowers are harvested for L’Occitane every year.

“It is especially cultivated [for L’Occitane], and for some reason, the soil, water and the environment create the best immortelle,” the general manager noted.


The Corsican immortelle, a legendary flower which loses its bright yellow color even after picked

New natural complex
Immortelle Divine is proven to repair and prevent signs of skin ageing—thanks to the Corsican immortelle. And ever since the product range was introduced in 2011, L’Occitane continuously improves the formula’s efficacy.

Ferriman revealed, “It is not easy. We spend so much time developing a nature-based skincare product. Nature is very complicated.”

After much research and development at its laboratories in France, L’Occitane is finally ready to introduce a new natural complex for Divine’s fifth patent.

“Finally, Divine will be re-launched because we were able to upgrade its formulation with a better plant technology. Divine is now better and healthier for the skin.”

This new plant technology is the combination of marsh clover, Corsican myrtle, Corsican honey, bellis perennis, hyaluronic acid, evening primrose oil and camelina oil. Together, these seven naturally derived active ingredients act deep into the cells to correct signs of skin ageing.

Besides the formulation, a new skincare product will also be added to the Divine range. This is the lotion, which Ferriman eagerly talked about as well.

She shared, “I live in Hong Kong so I know that when it is hot, it is very difficult to wear very thick creams. That is the reason we developed something for the Asian skin care requirement. This is the lotion with a lighter texture for easy absorption while still having the benefits of Divine.”


Divine is at its fifth patent with a new natural complex made up of marsh clover, Corsican myrtle, Corsican honey, bellis perennis, hyaluronic acid, evening primrose oil and camelina oil

The development of Immortelle Divine did not stop at the cosmetics laboratory of L’Occitane from doing extensive human testing for the facial skincare range.

“Just for the Divine cream itself, L’Occitane did a test on 100 women for six months. Most would do 20 women, and then 18 would say it is great. But this was a hundred women coming in at the hospital once a month [to be]photographed. We really went to extensive lengths to prove that plants can have results on skin,” Ferriman proudly related.

And the result of the study was astounding. Ferriman revealed, “Ninety-five percent of those women in that study said they will recommend this product to friends. Which is good because to recommend something to closest friends meant they really liked the product.”

But what does the new Divine formulation really promise? If other L’Occitane skincare products only target wrinkles and fine lines, Divine offers an overall fix.

Ferriman explained, “[As proven by the study] dark spots have lightened; crow’s skin at the eyes was lessened; deep pigments were lightened; and sagging chin and neck were tightened.”

Natural beauty
Before L’Occitane officially introduces the new Divine Immortelle in October, it will first launch new products under the Verbena and Angelica labels come September.

Verbena is a complete bath and fragrance range most famous for its squeezed lemons and picked verbena green leaves scent. After almost a decade of its trademark scent, L’Occitane was able to make Verbena’s scent even more refreshing with two natural ingredients, mint and citrus.

Among the exciting new products are the Mint Verbena shower gel and body ice with aromatic citrus fruits spearmint and peppermint; and the Citrus Verbena eau fraîche for men and women with fruity citrus fruits like grapefruit and cedar.

Following these products are the Sublime Essence (serum) and Sublime Beauty Cream (BB cream). Also a new patent for L’Occitane, the Sublime products combine for the first time the properties of two flowers, iris and angelica.

Finally, after Divine comes out in October, the complete haircare range of Aromachologie will be relaunched in November. L’Occitane has found a new repairing complex with five essential oils of geranium, lavender, ylang-ylang, sweet orange and angelica to add to the shampoo, conditioner and mask range.

With so much to look forward to from the brand, Ferriman concluded, “I personally believe that everything organic will always be better for you. Because your skin is the biggest organ of your body, it is important to always consider what you apply and spray on it. The more natural things you put in your body, the better for you overall.”


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